Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

Which Camper to Choose?

Trailblazer and Envoy related, but not off-road related...

by clickscrazy » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:05 am

Looking at 2 models, but concerned about towing with i6 (with tow package).

1. Coleman 1755FD (17ft). I can't find the dry weight listed anywhere, but Gross is 3782 (3200 dry?).
2. Wolf Pop 16FQ (16t). Dry weight 2950.

I plan on brake controller with weight distribution hitch.

I just don't want to destroy my TB tranny or have severe problems on hills.

Without having experience towing that weight before, it is really hard to make a decision.
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by BC backroader » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:22 am

Make your tranny happy with a good aftermarket cooler (Hayden) and tow either one. Even better if you have the optional 3.73 or 4.10 gears, but it will work fine with the usual 3.42.
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by clickscrazy » Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:48 pm

I know it might be difficult to translate. But how much of a strain would this weight really put on it?
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by BC backroader » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:18 pm

With the brake controller and WD hitch properly set up, your towing experience should be easy, though you'll definitely know you're hauling something back there. When you hit any kind of grade, uphill or down, do not use overdrive, shift down to drive, or second, as needed. If you have the 3.42 gears, it might even be worth not using overdrive at all while towing. Take te hit on fuel mileage and save your brakes and tranny.
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by clickscrazy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:35 am

So me and a buddy did some experimenting. He has about a 2,200 lb work trailer with tools, etc in it. We estimated it was about 3,000 lb.

We hooked and it up and pulled it around. At low speeds and stopping even with no brakes it was fine, I was feeling really good.

On the highway though...she was struggling (we are in Florida). She could go to 60 or 65, but it was a little work.

The BIGGEST concern was temp. It went up to 220 -230. We were in OD though (I told him to run in 3rd as i had already researched this, but he didn't think it was necessary).

But with that weight, I don't think the temp should have moved off 210. So now, I am researching coolant flow issues.
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by Trail X » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:12 am

The transmission tends to be the heat source that heats it all up, since stock its cooled only by the radiator. It's likely that with the increased load, it was falling out of TCC lockup to get you a little more torque. When you're operating out of lockup - that's when the heat really gets generated.

As Brad said, put it in D3 all the time if you have 3.42 gears. Try to monitor when it falls out of lockup (which should be less in D3), and try to keep it in lockup. If you have a scangauge, you can monitor live torque converter slip. You can also monitor the MAP (manifold air pressure) which is the trigger to unlock or downshift. If you keep the MAP below 14.5 (or ambient pressure wherever you are), it will stay in gear and not unlock. Do not use 2nd except when needed because 2nd doesn't lock up (heat).

DEFINITELY get a transmission cooler.
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by clickscrazy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:17 am

Thanks for the info. I have the the tow package, so it has the transmission cooler, which concerned me even more!

I am going to do some maintenance to rule out a few things and then maybe try again:

I am do for tranny service at 150k. It has been serviced at 50 and 100k (Still red and looks good though). But also, replace the thermostat and coolant sensor as I have no record of them being replaced, and they will probably fail soon anyway.

I have read in a few places, the water pump could just be getting tired, though I have no problems with heat even idling in the Florida heat. Locks at 210 all the time.
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by escapepilot » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:33 am

That weight shouldn't cause issues. An additional aftermarket trans cooler will help tremendously and is cheap insurance to promote trans health. I've towed over 6,000 w/ my EXT w/ no heat related issues.
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by clickscrazy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:44 am

Man. That is massive compared to what I was looking at. Yeah. Maybe I have a little bit of a coolant flow issue happening.

Also, I did have a new fan clutch put in last year (which I believe was the updated one), and didn't have it reflashed. (2005 TB).

However, the fan clutch seems to work fine in general. (Roars on first start, the idles down).
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by clickscrazy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:55 pm

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by Rickalicka18 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:24 pm

I agree with driving in D3 when towing that camper, whichever you decide on. I did that hauling my snowmobile with my 3.42 gears and 32" tires and I had plenty of power, heck I drive in D3 without a trailer connected. Didn't do any highway driving but I'm sure it could of hauled it easily in 3rd.
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by Diacom » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:36 pm

clickscrazy wrote:Thanks for the info. I have the the tow package, so it has the transmission cooler, which concerned me even more!


Don't assume that it has a transmission cooler just because it has a tow package. If you can't physically see it, it isn't there. Most of our vehicles came with a hitch and wiring, but few came with a factory cooler.
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by clickscrazy » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:21 pm

Where do the OEM ones mount? I took a look and do not see anything that looks like it. I see a long cooler at the very bottom, which I believe is the power steering cooler.
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by Diacom » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:01 pm

If it has one, it would normally be installed in front of the AC condenser on a factory bracket. I'll amend my previous post here and say that few if any came with a factory cooler.
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by clickscrazy » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:44 am

Geez. You are right, not there. I have been misinformed for 2 years. I thought I read on TrailVoy that it was standard with the tow package.

Oh well. I just ordered the Hayden 678. Since I am doing fluid change anyway, might as well put it in for $50. Though, at 150k, not sure how much life my trans has anyway.
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by mason10198 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:29 am

clickscrazy wrote:Though, at 150k, not sure how much life my trans has anyway.

You don't always have to assume it's gonna give that early. My old trans was pushing over 220k strong with no issues at all (before I sunk it in the river).
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by clickscrazy » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:12 pm

You're right. Let's hope for the best. Back to the original topic...I have settled on an R-Pod 171. 2,300 dry weight.

Prepping the TB to limit the surprises.
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